Undying Love in the Crosshairs of Hate

June 21, 2015 9:06 pm

With Father’s Day as a theme I’d prepared some altogether appropriate paragraphs for this space today, warm words about family, bonds of affection, and the joy of home. Then Charleston happened. Few people are thinking of much else, and virtually no one is speaking of much else, especially in the national media, and that’s as it should be, even if a lot of what’s said isn’t very helpful. There are nine beautiful, wonderful people who are dead now, killed by a young man deluded by racial hatred and a culture of violence, a bitter youth who acted against innocent people... Read this post

Extended Sermon Notes – Finders, Seekers: June 21, 2015

June 21, 2015 8:26 pm

The Short Stories of Jesus Finders, Seekers; Sellers, Keepers Matthew 13:44-46 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost June 21, 2015 What ‘Kingdom’ means in Jesus’ teaching CAN mean a ‘place’, but more than anything it means ‘Governance’, especially experience of that Governance. It is the presence of the future. The Kingdom has both come and is still coming. We live in the tension of the now and not yet. We live not with a postponed hope but a present reality that is growing from seed to tree, and from pebble to mountain. I. The Surprised Finder – v.44 * Burying treasures In... Read this post

Expanded Sermon Notes – June 7, 2015

June 9, 2015 2:42 am

Re-Membering the Church The Grace of Governance in the Body of Christ Matthew 8:5-13; Ephesians 5:15-21 Second Sunday after Pentecost June 7, 2015 Quick Review Why we care about the Church; the Contrary Winds The Covenant People of God, the City of God, Mother of the Faithful, and the Body of Christ Last year GQ magazine interview with Matthew McConaughey, the Oscar-winning actor, and this is what he said: Does your family go to church every Sunday? Yeah. In Texas. It’s non-denominational. It’s based in the faith that Jesus is the son of God, that he died for our sins,... Read this post

The Wisdom of the Horse

June 6, 2015 3:26 pm

Early most every morning I pour my coffee and wander out on the back patio to enjoy not only the cool morning air and taste of that first cup, but also the sights and sounds of one of the greatest shows a person can experience: horses rising to meet the day. Chestnut, black and grey, dappled and ivory white, Paints, Quarters, Saddlebreds, and Thoroughbreds gallop through open pastures, roll on the ground, sing and shout good mornings to one another, snort at owners for attention – especially some breakfast – and playfully nip at each other to make sure the... Read this post

Quotes About the Church, Part One

June 1, 2015 8:48 pm

Here are some of my favorite quotations about the beauty, necessity, and community of the Church. “Whatever it means to be a Christian, it at least involves the discovery of friends you did not know you had.” ― Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir “We believe that many Christians do not fully appreciate the odd way in which the church, when it is most faithful, goes about its business. We want to claim the church’s “oddness” as essential to its faithfulness.” ― Stanley Hauerwas, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony “The Church is a whore, but she is... Read this post

Re-Membering the Church, Part Five

May 31, 2015 4:38 pm

Re-Membering the Church Bearing One Another’s Burdens Mark 2:1-12; Galatians 6:1-10 First Sunday after Pentecost May 31, 2015 Vows and Covenant – a brief word of background Vow 5: Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the church, and promise to study its purity and peace? One of the matters we’re drawing attention to is the difference between aggregation and congregation. The former is a group of people gathered together briefly for a shared experience but with no particular connection, commitment, or governance that continues afterward. The latter is a highly visible, deeply committed community of reconciled... Read this post

Shall We Gather at the River?

May 30, 2015 2:42 pm

When people learn I moved to Franklin-Nashville from Austin, Texas they’re often eager to discuss the affinities between that community and our own – our unique music scenes, the brilliant entrepreneurs, the world-class academics, the political centers, hipster heavens, and their desirability as a home for millennials. The list could go on. This past week we added one more notable aspect of life we share together – the experience of devastating floods. It was shocking for me to see the footage from North Lamar in Austin where the Shoal Creek burst its banks and turned the street into a waterway.... Read this post

What We Hope You Experience at Christ Community Church

May 19, 2015 5:43 pm

Maybe you have friends who are thinking about visiting with us at Christ Community Church. What should they expect to experience? What can an imperfect people really offer? There’s only one answer: Christ’s perfect love though very imperfect hands. CCC is a community of former enemies reconciled to God and one another through the Gospel of Jesus, and joined to one another through the power of the Spirit. Like all Christian communities/congregations we are a people made up of sinners who are called ‘saints’ by grace and long for the day when our lives actually match the name. We have... Read this post

Charity and Authentic Faith

May 19, 2015 4:25 pm

The life of charity and care for the poor is the Christian vocation. One can no more separate one’s faith from one’s actions towards those broken by want and violence than one can separate the heart from the body and still live. It is impossible. The care of the poor may gain a opening for further communication of the Gospel, but that is not its objective because care for the poor IS a proclamation of the Gospel, a visible witness to the reality of God’s love in Christ. Like the sacrament of the Table, charity proclaims the reality of Christ... Read this post

Entering Into Rest – The Beauty of the Second Membership Vow

May 14, 2015 5:38 pm

    “I’ve got this.” Those words were a huge relief one evening when a group of people I was working with were due to appear before the city council on a major building project. We were all pretty nervous about the outcome, and more than a little uncertain about whether anything we’d prepared to say would help or hinder our case. In the end our colleague was exactly correct: we could leave behind all the anxieties about our performance because his arguments and ability won the day. We never had to say a word. The second membership vow, like... Read this post